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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY   343

institutions; the fifth, the Idea of Equity, implied in tne demand
that everyone should be properly requited for whatever he does
of good and of evil. Taken as a whole the five Ideas comprehend
morality both on its personal and on its social side. Any one
of them by itself is insufficient and may even be bad. The
man who insists on rights without respect to the good will that
tempers justice is not a moral man. It takes all five to make up
goodness.

But immediately the matter is put in this way, the objection
presents itself that morality hi this comprehensive .sense cannot
be the aim of education in the case of the child. It would be
absurd to expect from an immature person that balance of intellect
and will in which Inner Freedom consists. Herbart agrees. This
all-round goodness is the ultimate aim of education. The proxi-
mate one—and therefore the only one that directly concerns the
teacher—is .the second Idea, the Idea of Perfection or Complete-
ness* " Perfection, quantitatively considered, is the first urgent
task, wherever a human being shows himself pettier, smaller,
weaker, more limited than he need be/'* So interpreted, it
implies the proper growth of body and mind, which is the pre-
condition of virtue in later years. Anything more, indeed, is
impossible in childhood. In so far as conduct is a matter of habit,
it is unwise to do much in the way of training before the age of
reflection, lest the character should be prematurely fixed. Formed
habits, which are essential in manhood, are a real evil at an earlier
time if they prevent the reformation of personality in the first
years of adolescence. In so far as conduct is a matter of principle,
training for the most part requires to await the maturing of
intellect. " The subjective side of character can only attain its
full development during the years of maturity. Its beginnings,
however, reach back to boyhood and its normal growth during
adolescence is noticeably rapid." f From the necessity to defer,
or at least to minimize, training in childhood, it follows that the
most important part of the educator's work is instruction. Is
has been found, according to Herbart, " that the human being it
more easily approached from the side of knowledge than from the
side of moral sentiments and dispositions/' { But it is important
to notice the meaning Herbart attaches to " instruction/' " Mere
information does -not suffice: for we thir>fr of this as a supply or

* Outlines, p, 13,             f find., p. 147.   '         J Ibid^ p. 41,